Best-Dressed President? You’ll Never Guess

From our Tip o’ the Pixel to the Missus desk

Now that the 2014 midterm elections are over, we can turn to the really important political issues. To start us off, Racked has helpfully provided a carefree romp through presidential sartorial style, which we know you’ve been waiting breathlessly for.

We’ll spot you first and last.

Worst-dressed president:

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Best-dressed president:

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Who woulda thunk it, eh?

As for those in between, roll your own.

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Saddest. Headline. Ever. (Alex Rodriguez Edition)

Your humble Made Yankee Fan in Boston has had his ups and downs over the past 40 years, but this just might be the downest.

From Thursday’s New York Times:


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As Henry II might say, Who will A-Rid me of this turbulent/troublesome/ meddlesome/ damned pest?

Sadly, no one.

Especially the gutless Yankee GM Brian Cashman, who didn’t bench Rodriguez the way he should have when this whole sordid affair surfaced last year.

A sad day for the pinstripes.

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Why Are the News Media Ignoring Evan Falchuk?

Is it just us, or is the Massachusetts news media ignoring at least the subhed from last night’s election results?

Try this:

Martha Coakley Loses to Evan Falchuk

Here’s the final vote tally (via the Boston Globe):

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 12.17.53 PMWhat Falchuk has mostly gotten by way of reaction is similar to this nod from the Globe’s Shirley Leung:

The independent candidate for governor didn’t even come close to winning, but he captured enough votes – 3 percent – so that his United Independent Party can get official recognition and field legislative candidates in 2016.

Right – but can we also stipulate that Falcuk’s 3% came largely out of Coakley’s hide? Do the math: without Falchuk (and 1.4 million of his own dollars) in the race, don’t the bulk of his 71,091 votes go to Coakley?

Or are we missing something here?

We don’t know everything that’s been said or written in last night’s post mortems, but here’s what the Googletron spits out so far:

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Note that the Republican/MassLive piece contains this additional news: “Three candidates from the Green-Rainbow Party each netted 4 percent – Daniel Factor for secretary of state, Ian Jackson for treasurer and MK Merelice for auditor.”

But only Falchuk might’ve tipped a race.

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Ever Wonder Who the CIA Is Following on Twitter?

We know – you just hope it’s not you.

And it’s not.

The Central Intelligence Agency is using Twitter to gather intelligence from these 26 feeds:

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Interesting. Wouldn’t you think the spooks would be following, we dunno, Hamas Global PR maybe?  Or Vladimir Putin?

Oh, crap – now they’re going to start following us, aren’t they?

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When Journalists Rent Out Their B(u)ylines . . .

. . . nothing good can come of it.

There’s a growing trend among journalists of co-authoring books with subjects they probably would be better off covering.

Exhibit Umpteen, from Sunday’s New York Times.


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Rajiv Chandrasekaran is a senior correspondent and associate editor at the Washington Post. He’s done some serious investigative work (see this C-SPAN edition of Q&A). He’s also now Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s caddy.

Doesn’t seem right, does it?

The same goes for Boston Globe sports scribe Dan Shaughnessy, who collaborated with former Red Sox skipper Terry Francona on the wildly uncritical Francona: The Red Sox Years.  (See Shaughnessy’s side of the story here.)

Not to mention Atlantic Monthly senior editor Jack Beatty’s totally Patty Hearst Syndrome co-authoring of Tom Menino’s Mayor for a New America.

You can call this sour gripes that the hardworking staff has never gotten embed with a  bio-worthy subject.

But really - shouldn’t we draw the (buy)line somewhere?

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Quote o’ the Day (Hanlon’s Razor Edition)

From David Skinner’s Weekly Standard review of Steven Pinker’s new book, The Sense of Style.

Where Pinker breaks ranks with most enemies of tendentious writing is on the question of motive. He cites Hanlon’s razor—“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity”—and turns to cognitive science for explanations of why we are so bad at presenting our hard-earned knowledge to others.

Hanlon’s razor, eh? Love it.

As for that explanation Pinker turns to cognitive science for, it’s this:

A major reason, he says, is that once we learn something, it is very hard for us to know what it is like not to know it. This “curse of knowledge” leads us to under-explain and rely on abbreviation, shorthand, and jargon, as we assume our readers know much more than they actually do.

Hmmm. We’ll keep that in mind.

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‘Common Sense’ John Haywood Kind of Lacks It

From our Why Not Just Set Your Money on Fire desk

As you splendid readers might (or more likely might not) remember, the hardworking staff has dutifully chronicled the per-ad-ulations of one John Haywood, North Carolina rich guy and erstwhile New Hampshire presidential primary candidate.

He ran a two-page ad in the New York Times a month ago that was promptly trashed by a one-page ad in the Times. Something about “Israel hatred rearing its ugly head.”

Regardless, Mr. Haywood is back, according to splendid reader Carrie from Texas, who sent us this note.

My name is Carrie, and I am a resident of a suburb of a suburb of a suburb of Dallas, Texas. I recently had the (dis)pleasure of receiving in my mailbox a political ad – more like manifesto – which was “written, printed and postage paid for by John D. Haywood”. The flyer itself, which is interesting and somewhat disturbing, is titled “Common Sense MMXIV” and its stated purpose is to “Turn 20 Now Red Texas Congressional Districts Blue and hand a Mandate for Reform to a Democratic House Majority”.

Carrie helpfully included the flyer Haywood has inflicted upon the good people of  Texas. Here’s one side:




And here’s the other:




Coincidentally, the day after we received Carrie’s note, Jon Stewart was broadcasting The Daily Show from Austin, Texas, and he delivered this rumination on the prospects of the Lone Star State turning blue:



Pretty funny – but not a word about John “Common (Non)Sense” Haywood.

Somebody tell Jon Stewart he doesn’t know everything, yeah?

Campaign Outsider Bonus Round

Splendid reader Carrie also included this in her email:

After reading this garbage, I decided to do some research on Mr. Haywood. This research first led me to Mr. Haywood’s 2012 presidential campaign website. I also discovered some very interesting stories regarding a lawsuit that Mr. Haywood filed against St. Michael’s College in Vermont and two journalism students who attended college there at the time . . .

It turns out that Mr. Haywood was a Republican-turned-Democrat who decided to get on the New Hampshire Democratic primary ticket for the 2012 Presidential election. Evidently his friends and associates back in Durham, North Carolina, all of whom were Republicans, did not know that Mr. Haywood was running for president as a democrat. Two St. Michael’s College journalism students did a profile of Haywood for a class project, and Haywood subsequently sued the school and the students claiming that they “outed” him as a Democrat to his friends and also misrepresented his platform. You can read about the case yourself [see here]; it is quite entertaining – especially given the fact that Mr. Haywood is an attorney.

Entertaining indeed.

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Have a Very Belichick Halloween

From our Why the Wall Street Journal Is a Great Newspaper desk

Yesterday’s edition of the Journal included this Geoff Foster piece.

Scary Sports Costumes

Trick or Treat: Turning This Year’s Low Moments Into Halloween Highlights

Any kid can dress up as Captain America or Elsa the Snow Queen. In a year filled with some low moments in sports, here are suggestions on how to dress as your favorite sports antihero.

Among those suggestions was this classic:

Bill Belichick

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Dr. Frankenstein was a sinister genius who created an unstoppable monster that was universally abhorred. So basically Bill Belichick. The New England Patriots coach is notoriously moody. In fact, the Journal conducted a study last season and counted only seven times where he was seen smiling in a news conference. [That's actually true.] The best part is that Belichick is a way more cost-effective costume for your youngster than Frankenstein. All you really need to do is find an old gray hoodie and cut off the sleeves—and maybe add a headset for good measure. It’s a good idea to target the houses giving away raisins to make sure the smile-count doesn’t get above seven.

As SCTV’s Count Floyd used to say, Oooo . . . that’s scary, kids.

Special Bay State bonus: Tip O’Neill’s 3-D House of Representatives.



Oooo . . . that’s funny, kids. (At least we think so.)

And Count Floyd makes a great Halloween costume.

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All Hail Madison Bumgarner, the 21st Century Cy Young

From our One for the Ages desk

You have to go back over a century to match what San Francisco ace Madison Bumgarner did last night: Win two World Series games and pitch more than three innings in a third.





That’s all.

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Coakley Took More of a Beating Than the Giants Last Night

The hardworking staff is guessing that most of you splendid readers didn’t spend much time watching the Kansas City Royals pummel the San Francisco Giants last night, as the Jints pounded the ball into the ground(out) for seven innings against the untouchable  Yordano Ventura (“seven innings, three hits, zero runs, five walks and four Ks. He threw 64 of his 100 pitches more than 95 mph. Not bad for a 23-year-old rookie – ABC News).

Representative sample:



We, on the other hand, watched the whole thing.

Hey – it’s the World’s Serious.

(And while we’re at it, let’s insert a prayer here for Buster Posey.)

Anyway, the only one who took a worse drubbing than the Giants last night was Massachusetts gubernatorial hopeful Martha Coakley.

The hardwatching staff saw this Charlie Baker spot three times during the game broadcast (it might have run more often – we checked out during several commercial breaks).

Oddly, in this everything-is-available age, the only place we could find the Baker ad is at the link above. But here’s the spot’s bottom line: Baker says he won’t raise taxes. Coakley says she will. (The headscratching staff suspects that Coakley was specifically referring to gas tax hikes, but we could be wrong.)

The spot did to Coakley what Baker was too busy turning on the waterworks in last night’s debate to do: Stuck the knife in and left it there.

The Giants get a shot at redemption tonight. Martha Coakley might not get the same chance between now and next Tuesday.

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